10 glorious Gloucestershire locations to enjoy open-air theatre

Spanning beautiful gardens, unique amphitheatres and rustic barns, this summer pack a picnic and enjoy an alfresco performance at one of the best open-air theatre spots in Gloucestershire.

Shakespeare famously wrote, ‘all the world’s a stage’, and this certainly rings true in Gloucestershire this summer, with open-air theatre events taking place at some of the most picturesque locations across the county.

Boasting outdoor drama, the bard under the stars, and fine family entertainment, SoGlos has handpicked 10 of our favourite places to enjoy an alfresco theatre performance in Gloucestershire.


1. Outdoor theatre at Tuckwell Amphitheatre in Cheltenham

Cheltenham’s annual Open-Air Theatre Festival returns to Bacon Theatre in August 2021, offering an eclectic programme featuring Shakespearean drama, family shows, and comedy.

Running from Tuesday 3 to Sunday 15 August 2021, performances include A Swinging Summer Evening with Peter Gill+; Heartbreak Productions The Great Gatsby; and Jane Austen’s witty Pride and Prejudice.


2. Outdoor theatre at Painswick Rococo Gardens near Stroud

Painswick Rococo Garden offers an enchanting setting for an outdoor show, boasting striking, historical buildings, pretty woodlands, and glorious views across the countryside.

What’s more, with scheduled summer performances including Shakespeare and comedy, there’s plenty to delight theatre fans. The Handlebards will be performing Macbeth in July 2021, while IK Productions will deliver a funny adaptation of Beauty and the Beast at Painswick Rococo Garden in August 2021.


3. Outdoor theatre at Victoria Gardens in Tewkesbury

Roll out your picnic blanket near the picturesque riverbank in Victoria Gardens; boasting glorious views, the lovely setting creates a perfect atmosphere for outdoor theatre.

In June and July 2021, the same team that produced the hilarious A Christmas Carol will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Victoria Gardens, offering a great evening for the whole family.


4. Outdoor theatre at Cowley Manor

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Cowley Manor will delight theatre fans with the return of its ever-popular event, Theatre Under the Stars running from June until September this 2021, offering the chance to enjoy great entertainment within the stunning Cotswold setting.

This year’s programme will see a ‘delightfully daft’ adaptation of Beauty and The Beast from IK Productions, with more events to be announced.


5. Outdoor theatre at The Garden at Miserden near Stroud


Set on an 850-estate overlooking the Golden Valley, The Garden at Miserden is nestled in the countryside and offering views across the rolling Cotswold hills – making it a picture-perfect setting for alfresco entertainment.

From June until September 2021, there’s the chance to settle down to enjoy various shows at Miserden, from the University of Gloucestershire’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Kick in the Head’s comedy performance of Into the Breach and Theatre2u’s fairy tale with a twist Little Red Riding Hood & the Three Funky Pigs.


6. Outdoor theatre at Llanthony Secunda Priory

As two uplifting family shows within a picturesque Cotswold setting, theatre fans can enjoy Wind and the Willows and The Importance of Being Ernest at Llanthony Secunda Priory in August and September this 2021.

Join Mole, Ratty, Toad and Badger in critically acclaimed Pantaloons Theatre Company performance or an evening of slapstick-comedy with The HandleBards – all whilst soaking up the glorious Augustinian Priory views.


7. Outdoor theatre at Longborough Festival Opera in the Cotswolds


Longborough Festival Opera offers a picture-perfect setting for audiences, boasting an intimate 500-seat theatre nestled in the heart of the Cotswold countryside, with this year’s programme running from June to August 2021.

Meanwhile, with the 2021 season spanning Die Walküre, Così fan tutte, The Return of Ulysses, and The Cunning Little Vixen, audiences are in for a real treat.


8. Outdoor theatre at Sandford Parks Lido in Cheltenham


There’s a chance to enjoy a feast of alfresco theatre within the unique setting of Sandford Parks Lido this summer, where Rain or Shine Theatre Company performing a humorous adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing on Saturday 7 August 2021.

Promising great entertainment in the heart of Cheltenham, the alfresco show is set in November 1918 when The Great War has come to an end, with men returning home and romance awaiting them…


9. “Outdoor theatre at Berkeley Castle”: https://www.soglos.com/culture/attraction/26160/Berkeley-Castle

The Duke’s Theatre Company’s anticipated tour of Romeo and Juliet is set to visit Berkeley Castle on Sunday 1 and Monday 2 August 2021, promising great entertainment within a characterful setting.

Audiences can roll out a picnic blanket and settle down for the timeless performance; be transported to Verona and be captivated by the passion, energy and heartbreak of young love and star-crossed lovers.


10. “Outdoor theatre at Sudeley Castle”: https://www.soglos.com/culture/attraction/26282/Sudeley-Castle-and-Gardens

Head to the Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe for an enjoyable and magical performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth on Thursday 22 July 2021.

Performed by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the open-air performance delves into breathless and brilliant tragedy. Families are encouraged to bring a chair and a picnic, and to sit back and relax whilst enjoying the Elizabethan costumes, music and dance.


By Zoe Gater


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© SoGlos
Friday 02 July 2021

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